Tuesday, 18 February 2020

brothers and sisters, welcome to the temple of the gnostic sonics

BLDGBlog has a nice memory and appreciation of recently and very much prematurely departed DJ, reporter, zine publisher, remix artist and record producer Andrew Weatherall (*1963). The pioneering Weatherall whose eclectic tastes and experimentation helped forward the rave and acid house scene bore at least two famous tattoos on opposite forearms: Fail We May but Sail We Must. Sample some of his sets below and more at the link above.


Pasa Bon! refers us to a tragically underreported 1997 interactive installation from Berlin-based artist Hans Hemmert of the art collective Inges Idee that outfitted guests with platform shoes, chosen from the rack to elevate all to the height of two meters before socialising. As distant as this experiment seems and how much of human interaction is not necessarily conducted in person, it seems very resonant to get a new perspective and place others on equal-footing.

it’s entirely possible that you might have trouble remembering a time before christian sonic the hedgehog fanart

Via tmn, the above headline, excerpt certainly grabbed our attention, not knowing what sort of rabbit hole we might be prizing open—and we’re relieved to find how for all its power and reach domestically, Corporate Christian America, has a heretofore unbridgeable handicap when it comes to popular culture, though the Good News Gospel and prosperity theology has enjoyed a long-term ally in that liminal space between casual engagement, aficionados and fandom of video game franchises. As strange as it seems, given religion’s aggressive way of inserting itself into the conversation, there’s an unexpected place to gain a purchase that strikes as sincere (despite cynical origins during in the consoles’ competition for supremacy—see also), inevitable and self-perpetuating in the way that gamification is both habit-forming and highly specific yet forgiving at the same time.

Monday, 17 February 2020


Though for the present it’s conceptual and more of a dystopian joke rather than something that one can order just yet with the veneer of restraint and corporate responsibility and not diverting from the stocks of emergency protective gear that medical professional need, perhaps when this epidemic passes, one can equip oneself for the next with facial masks that allow one to unlock their devices (and remain recognisable to surveillance protocols—and perhaps alternately hide from them) without removing that prophylactic. The masks are custom-printed using non-toxic dyes that do not alter the mask’s efficacy nor respiration—as the manufacturer claims. Biomarkers are a bad idea for authentication purposes in general and surgical masks are not designed for keeping the healthy free from contagion but rather to help the ill from spreading it further.

Sunday, 16 February 2020


Though not much is disclosed by way of the methodology behind how these hacked barcode scanners reinterpret the different patterns as techno beats, the duo Electronicos Fantasticos certainly have found a unique medium of expression and look like they’re having a blast making music. Frontman DJ Ei Wada (aka Crab Feet) also has a long career of transforming old household appliances and superannuated technology into musical instruments and together, in collaboration with Nicos Orchest Lab, they have been musical directors of fashion shows and other multimedia experiences. See more performances at Design Boom at the link up top.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

burgruine henneberg

Taking advantage of the nice weather, H and I ventured to the nearby village of Henneberg, named for the castle ruins above and in turn the ancestral seat of the eponymous royal house (see previously here and here).

The late eleventh century compound was within the next generations built up to its height by Count Poppo (see also here) with palace, belfry (Bergfried), residential suite with cabinet (Kemenate), defensive walls and cisterns and was abandoned as official residence in the late eighteenth century, the last of the male line having died off without heirs roughly a century beforehand.
One bit of rather gruesome legend associated with Henneberg involves the Countess Margarete and her three-hundred and sixty-five children—a Dutch noble woman, daughter of Florens IV of Holland and Zealand and Mathilde of Brabant whom entered into a political union in 1249 with Count Hermann (Poppo’s son), in hopes of securing his elevation to Holy Roman emperor of the Germans, a ploy which despite the landed connections ultimately failed. Margarete died in childbirth—which was not an uncommon occurrence—but reportedly was cursed to bear as many children as there are days in the year after insulting the mother of twins with words of incredulity and accusing her of adultery out of envy of her own childless condition. Returned to her parents in Loosduinen, a district of the Hague—not anywhere near here (though the caretakers of the ruin and club of local medieval enthusiasts and reenactors call themselves that)—Margarete gave birth to this impossible brood, varying described as mice or crabs, before all dying.
Neglected and falling into disrepair by the 1830s, the ducal court of Saxe-Meiningen wanted to raise the foundations and build a pleasure palace but those plans were overcome by other events. From the end of World War II to 1989, the castle was part of the inter-German border’s restricted zone (Sperrgebiet) until 1989 due to its commanding view of the surrounding region and into West Germany.

topless meeting

Filed for University of Pennsylvania venerable archive of lingual observations, Language Log, we are introduced to an exemplary achievement in borrowing with the above Japanese term—トップレス‐ミーティング, toppuresu mītingu. A contraction of laptop-less, it refers to a holding a conference free from electronic distractions, mobile phones included—which reportedly can be especially onerous for a business culture where meetings are recurrent and lengthy and perhaps meant as a chance to catch a bit of shut-eye. See more examples at the link up top.


Researchers from the City University of Hong Kong are developing a new technique to harness the power of falling rainwater and convert it into electricity for passive applications and battery recharging.
One water drop alone under this novel way of converting and redistributing its kinetic energy can generate enough of a spark to light up a matrix of one LED bulbs. While the rain may not be appropriate for energy-intensive scenarios, the project leader believes that the field effect transistor method could be overlaid with other energy harvesters to multiply their efficacy—on rooftop solar panels, for instance, to ensure a steadier power-supply even when the conditions aren’t so sunny, or even one’s own umbrella whose cane would become a power-wand. Learn more at the link above.